Lexus to display a strong hand in Paris

The LF-Xh hybrid concept vehicle will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next week, as will the new LS 460 AWD with permanent all-wheel drive and a full-line up of Lexus Hybrid Drive models.

Earlier this month, the latter made its world premiere at this year’s Moscow International Motor Show. But the star on the Lexus stand at the Paris show will be the new Lexus IS 250 convertible. Following the launch earlier this year of the ultra-high performance IS F, this will be the third derivative in the IS range.

The Lexus LF-Xh hybrid concept car highlighted the potential for Lexus’s L-finesse design philosophy to be applied to different artistic and creative spheres far beyond the language of car design when it made its European debut at the Museo della Permanente art gallery during Milan Design Week earlier this year.

Now appearing in the more conventional surroundings of an international motor show, the LF-Xh features powerful, highly sculptured bodywork, an elegant, user-intuitive interior, and an all-wheel drive Lexus hybrid drive system, which combines a powerful V6 petrol engine with high output electric motors.

Finished all in black, the LF-Xh has a dynamic presence. Its combination of advanced environmental technology, outstanding driving performance, near-silent operation, excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions perfectly reflects Lexus’s forward-thinking mindset for a future generation of vehicles.

Two years on from the European launch of the fourth generation of Lexus’s flagship saloon, the LS 460’s outstanding performance, sure-footed dynamic abilities and ground-breaking active safety systems have been further strengthened by the addition of permanent all-wheel drive. The LS 460 AWD will go on sale here from early 2009.

The all-wheel drive system has a three-differential configuration, with a highly compact Type C TORSEN® limited slip differential that distributes drive power between the front and rear axles with a 40:60 rear axle torque bias. The highly responsive torque distribution is continuously controlled and optimised according to driving conditions, and can be varied between a 50:50 to 30:70 split between front and rear axles. This enhances the vehicle’s grip, traction and cornering stability under acceleration to class-leading levels.

Finally, Lexus reminds us that it remains the first - and only - premium automotive manufacturer to offer a comprehensive hybrid model range, comprising the RX 400h, the world’s first hybrid SUV; the GS 450h performance hybrid saloon; and the ultra-luxurious LS 600h flagship limousine.

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